6 quick tips to help you choose the right enterprise CMS for your organization

Marketing Gillian Mays Gillian Mays
Back to all posts
This Post Contents

When you’re choosing your enterprise CMS, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. After all, there are a lot of aspects for you to consider! Luckily, we have your answer. Here’s our handy guide to picking the right enterprise CMS for your organization.

The importance of choosing an enterprise CMS

There are a lot of differences between big and small businesses. This is especially true when it comes to technology. You simply can’t run an enterprise-level organization with the same basic technology that a mom-and-pop business can. There are several reasons for this:

Small organizations Enterprise organizations
Operate on a limited scale Appeal to far more customers
Security breaches are minor and may not risk too much data Security breaches impact far more users and require more resources to recover from
Fewer content creation needs mean the latest technology isn't always required Bigger operations mean constantly finding more ways to connect to more customers
Few competitors Many competitors

What it comes down to is simple: scale. You just can’t afford to trust your business to a CMS that isn’t designed to support it.

6 aspects to consider when choosing your enterprise CMS

Not every enterprise CMS is the same – so that can’t be the only trait that you look for. You’ll need to keep an eye out for a few essential elements to make sure that you’ll find something that fits your needs. Otherwise, you could be looking at costly attempts at adapting or even a full overhaul of your system down the road.

1. Growth-ready structure

Let’s circle back to the issue of scale. It doesn’t just matter where you are now – it also matters where you want to go. Some systems are better poised to support growth than others. Look for a few tell-tale signs that your system will be able to support your ambitions, including:

  • API-first to help you incorporate new technologies as they emerge

  • Internationalization features if you plan to globalize

  • A predictable pricing structure to help you budget more accurately

Consider choosing a system with MACH architecture. On top of other benefits, this kind of setup gives you access to the extremely scalable resources of the cloud.

The acronym MACH with arrows pointing from each letter to the phrase it stands for below.

MACH architecture is composed of four elements: Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, and Headless.

On top of these traits, you should investigate what current clients your prospective enterprise CMS has. If they don’t serve businesses of your size and scope, you may want to be cautious. Otherwise, your needs could end up being beyond what the system can support.

2. Security

Security is an undeniably essential concern for every business. The importance only grows as the amount of sensitive information on countless customers does. Choosing an enterprise CMS that keeps you and your users safe is thus essential. Keep an eye out for specific features that will protect you, including:

  • A compartmentalized program structure that will prevent security threats from spreading

  • A changelog to see who makes what changes at what time

  • Options for 2-factor authentication

  • Content locking to prevent unauthorized changes

However, no protection is perfect. We have to face an unfortunate fact: hacks do happen. As such, you should also be preparing for the worst-case scenario. Look for features that will help you do so, like automatic off-site backups and emergency customer support.

Choosing a headless CMS can be one of the best ways to protect your business. Talk to our specialists to learn more!

3. Customer journey tools

Speaking of customer support, let’s also talk about what that looks like on your side of things. Customers today expect a lot from businesses: multiple ways to interact with your brand, consistent experience across multiple channels, and intuitive design that facilitates their experience are just a few examples. Choose an enterprise CMS that will empower you to provide all of this with features like:

  • Support for multiple channels within the Internet of Things (IoT)

  • A universal backend that will push out identical content to all of your frontends

  • A best-of-breed approach to help you expertly curate your content with tools that your organization already relies on

  • Flexible editing to help you make changes as quickly as possible

  • Developer-free CMS maintenance which will give them more time to create high-quality customer journeys

  • Marketer agency that allows them to publish new content and reuse old elements without relying on developers at all

Remember, these aren’t just nice to have – they’re essential. The easiest way to lose customers is to not meet their basic expectations. Prioritize this aspect as much as you can. You should also keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. That way, you can quickly offer services that are equal to if not better than what they’re offering.

4. Key performance features

Things move fast these days. When users want your content, they want it now. You can’t afford to keep them waiting. And if you do, the performance of your digital presence will reflect poorly on your brand no matter how good your work is. Your enterprise CMS providers should be well aware of this too, and should provide supporting features like:

  • Uptime Service Level Agreements (SLA) to keep you online

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools to help you climb the rankings

  • The ability to handle large amounts of traffic

  • A/B split testing for maximum content efficacy

  • In-engine image optimization for faster load times


You should also consider how periods of growth will impact performance. If making changes necessitates a lot of downtime, for example, it might not be the enterprise CMS for you.

5. Teamwork

Big businesses require big teams. From developers to marketers to content creators, you should choose an enterprise CMS that lets everyone get a hand on the ball. Pick a system that will support every department that needs access to it. A few signs of this include:

  • A real-time visual editor with intuitive editing tools

  • Commenting functionality to keep everyone on the same page

  • Custom workflows and approval processes

  • Scheduling functionality to provide a predictable content output

This is another area where price comes into play. Consider how much each additional user will cost you in the long run. That way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises as your organization expands.

6. Ease of use

Finally, let’s wrap up with ease of use. As we mentioned earlier, enterprises often have expansive teams. Each user has a different level of technical expertise, but one thing is universal: nobody wants to struggle with your system. Be sure to consider ease of use when picking an enterprise CMS. There are a few key signs that suggest you’ll have an easy user experience, such as:

  • A streamlined editing process where it’s easy to see your changes

  • A design that lets marketers make changes without having to consult developers

  • Reusable components for a faster, more consistent editing experience

  • Well-organized asset management

  • Autosaving to prevent losing data

You’ll also want to consider how supportive the customer support really is. Long wait times between tickets and unhelpful documentation may not seem important now, but they’ll be huge roadblocks when you need them. Don’t be afraid to check out how in-depth the support resources are before you make your decision.

Choosing the right enterprise CMS – where do you start?

We’ve covered a lot of elements that you can use to evaluate an enterprise CMS. But how do you find one to consider in the first place? Doing your own research with Google can be a great start, but you should also be looking at the finer details.

There’s a lot of guide-centric content out there to help you structure your search. We wrote a more detailed enterprise CMS guide to get you started. Our enterprise navigator’s guide takes an even deeper dive. Finally, once you have a few top candidates, you can download our RFP template for a comprehensive checklist to compare your options. Just remember to keep your needs in mind! Extra features are great, but if a system doesn’t meet your basic requirements, that functionality won’t be worth much in the long run.

Resource Link
What is an API-first CMS? https://www.storyblok.com/mp/what-is-an-api-first-cms
Omnichannel marketing in 7 minutes https://www.storyblok.com/mp/omnichannel-marketing-in-7-minutes
The complete enterprise CMS guide https://www.storyblok.com/mp/the-complete-enterprise-cms-guide
An enterprise navigator's guide into making CMS decisions: How to choose a CMS that's right for your enterprise https://www.storyblok.com/lp/making-enterprise-cms-decisions
RFP template for choosing a new CMS https://www.storyblok.com/lp/rfp-template-for-cms

If you’re ready to learn more about Storyblok, reach out to one of our specialists today!

More to read